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on 2 August 2005
Our 15 month old son has had difficulty sleeping since infancy. He suffered from acid reflux, regular runny noses and ear infections for several months as a baby and this had an impact on his ability to sleep well. He would scream when laid down in his cot and although he would quieten when lifted, he would then fight sleep for hours until he was so overtired, it was even more difficult for him to settle down to sleep. Although his health problems are behind him, the legacy of his sleep problems remain. We tried so many different ways of settling him to sleep and have him sleep through the night, including staying with him and the crying it out approach. Neither of them provided any particular level of success. Our older son, who has always slept well was our benchmark and when nothing we tried seemed to work with our younger son, we became confused, disillusioned, anxious and felt guilty about the way we were approaching our son's sleeptimes. Then I read Elizabeth Pantley's book and everything is beginning to turn around.
I liked it firstly because I had never seen a book focusing specifically on toddlers and pre-schoolers before and I was keen not to try and make suggestions made in other baby sleep books 'fit' around our toddler son. From its first pages, Elizabeth's advice is practical, gentle, loving and designed to suit a variety of family circumstances. She does not advocate a one size fits all approach, rather giving several suggestions to each particular sleep issue, which you can choose from based on your own particular family situation. Nor does she suggest that her advice will offer a quick fix solution to your child's sleep difficulties. Persistence and patience are required, however, if like us, you have persisted with other methods which haven't worked, these gentle, more loving solutions are much easier to follow and will hopefully meet your child's needs and make you feel a lot better about yourself as a parent!
Her sleep logs can be printed and completed to give you a baseline on which to base your sleep plan. She gives 'Eight sleep tips for every child', before offering solutions for the widest variety of invidual sleep difficulties. I read the book from cover to cover but you could just as easily dip in and out of chapters depending on what particular issues you are facing. Perhaps most importantly for us, Elizabeth's advice has allowed us to really listen to our son and as a result to meet his sleep needs far better than we were before. Despite the fact that we believed we had a consistent bedtime routine, which we had always followed for our older child, a few changes based on Elizabeth's advice have made bedtime a less stressful, more gentle, loving, fun and special time for us all as a family. Our son is settling to sleep quicker and without tears and is sleeping longer through the night. If you have a toddler or pre-schooler who has difficulty with sleep and as a result, so do you, then I recommend that you read this book!
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on 11 November 2005
Having read many books on sleep solutions, which generally offered a variation on the same theme, I found this book positively uplifting. The author empathised with how parents of non-sleepers feel and offered practical solutions, with more than one to try for each type of problem. You also realise that, contrary to popular belief, there is no 'right' way to do things and that you should do what you feel is best for your own situation. Excellent value in terms of price too.
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on 11 August 2005
I am so excited about this book!! For anyone out there with kiddies between 12-ish months and 6 years or so who is frustrated with sleep issues ...
I can not recommend this book highly enough!!! IT IS WONDERFUL!!!
I have a toddler and a preschooler with entirely different sleep issues, and this is working for both!
I'm just not a 'cry-it-out' mom. I've tried once or twice out of utter desperation, but it just isn't a solution for our family. It just doesn't feel right for us.
I read this book in a day (ok I was obsessed and driven by desperate fatigue LOL) and we've been following some suggestions for less than a week. Already our boys' sleep problems are improving (almost gone in fact!) & their day times are better now too! We are having fewer mood swings and 'spats' (we don't usually have full blown tantrums to begin with, but even the mini - strops that we sometimes get are gone!) They are both more settled and content, all due to new routines and better quality of sleep. I am more rested and better able to cope in the day too!
I'm no moron LOL - I hate being told how to do my job! I consider myself a great parent who does an amazing job ... we've simply been struggling with sleep issues for a while now, and the whole family has been tired as a result.
IMO, sometimes when we get so wrapped up in our own difficulties, it becomes a 'forest for the tress' situation. This book helped us get back to basics without preaching rights from wrongs. I find the whole attitude and approach straightforward, gentle and encouraging, without being condescending.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it isn't 'Parenting 101 for Idiots' like some parenting self-help books can be. The advice and suggestions are simple and basic, and more importantly kind and gentle to our children! No quick-fix-child-training, more of a new perspective for the whole family.
It's great to get back to the basics without being made to feel an idiot for needing a little help. AND IT's WORKING!!! Our neighbours have noticed a difference already (in all of us!) and are lining up to borrow it ... I don't want to part with it though!
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on 11 July 2005
i bought this book because i was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be a time when my breastfed 21/2 year old was going to go to sleep by himself and sleep peacefully until i arrive to go to bed. some evenings it felt like more of an issue than others, and then it really did become quite wearing.
i didn't like pantley's previous book on babies as i found the advice far too obvious and mostly irrelevant.
however i did like this new book on toddlers and pre-schoolers. i generally liked the tone - warm and relaxed but very happily in synch with the young child's feelings of care and security. and also what i generally liked was just the assurance that young children going to sleep by themselves was a Hollywood myth. Actually, Pantley points out, young children need "help" to go to sleep (i guess just like they need help to go to the toilet or get dressed, etc, for a few years). they don't behave like adults and need our reassurance and presence. i just found this reassuring and i kind of relaxed (a bit!) into it again. However, for those readers who really do want their children to learn to go to sleep by themselves she does recommend a very gentle step-by-step method (though it was too long-winded for me).
What I also liked was her general writing on how children need their sleep, and how much, which I found useful, especially on the issue of "naps" and how children often need them.
Despite the title of the book as a "Solution" I think overall it doesn't really offer any quick fixes. But it does look at the issue humanely and with care. I still think there is too much obvious detail and maybe some points and ideas were suggested which were too obvious (to me anyway). But overall I liked the book.
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on 1 September 2005
My daughter is 2 1/4 and hasn't really slept well since she was 9 months old. Before I got this book she was waking about twice a night, every night, and I was exhausted and ready to consider going to a sleep clinic even though I didn't like the idea of someone else telling me what to do. I had the author's first book on sleep for babies but we'd somehow missed the window of opportunity and none of the solutions seemed to be working with our toddler. Then I heard about this book, and figured I'd give it a try. I felt reassured and so much more positive once it arrived and I'd had a quick look through it, mainly because there are just lots and lots and lots of different ideas. The author doesn't assume all families are alike, that you will all fit into the same routine, that one solution will work for every child and every parent -- like many books on sleep I've seen. Instead she discusses many different issues, and different ways that parents have found of dealing with them.
Another important thing, in terms of dealing with toddlers and sleep issues, is that she makes a distinction between "crying it out" and protest crying. Many toddlers just don't want to be left alone at bedtime, and they'll cry for a bit to let you know that they don't like it. If you aren't happy listening to this protest crying, she gives ways of handling the separation aspect of bedtime, but if like me you're a bit impatient once you know the difference between the two types of crying you may be more comfortable leaving your child to cry for a few minutes when you leave them in bed in the evening.
We didn't put any of these ideas into practice right away, instead we went on holiday which made my daughter's sleep problems much much worse. When we'd been home a few weeks I put a couple of the author's suggestions into practice, stuck with them very consistently, and now -- a week later -- my daughter's sleeping patterns have improved markedly. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's at their wit's end with their child's sleeping patterns, or even people who just occasionally have problems with it. The book is much cheaper than going to a sleep clinic!
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on 2 June 2006
I have used The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Babies before, but when my baby girl turned one I faced issues that that book did not deal with: separation anxiety, early awakenings and changing from two naps to one. Two weeks after I started working on the solutions suggested in this toddler-adapted book, she slept her first ten-hour stretch at night ever, followed by a two-and-a-half hour nap the day after (also this a record)!

Although many solutions in this book are not for one-year-olds, it is a very useful book to have as toddlerhood approaches fast and with it its problems. The book is an excellent follow-on to Pantley's first, with only some necessary repetitions and plenty of imaginative suggestions to make sleep work and your child feeling happy and secure. I have been under a lot of pressure, tried CIO three times and had to battle the cries at night afterwards - I always went back to my No-Cry Solution book and re-read it, started over, and got much better results.

Just get the book! You will not regret it.
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on 15 July 2005
I bought this book before my DD was born and have referred to it constantly for the past 13 months of her life. It has proved to be a constant source of encouragement and has really helped me through various stages of sleep training, beginning with early infancy and through to early toddlerhood.
Babies are constantly changing, and along with various developmental stages, teething, sickness, weaning etc, their sleep habits also change. This book provides all the loving techniques to help your little one eventually learn to sleep by themselves without subjecting them or you to a sense of loss or neglect. CIO may work in some cases, but it's often as traumatic on the parents as it is on the baby and I didn't want to have that memory associated with this stage of my DD's life. Instead we have travelled the road of consistent change over time, progressing from co-sleeping and nursing through the night to independent crib sleep with several night wakings for nursing through to only one early morning waking at present that requires very little intervention for me to help my DD back to sleep. The single most important point was teaching my DD to fall asleep by herself at night without me in the room. After that, everything else fell into place over time (it doesn't happen overnight but it's a gradual and loving journey like any other skill your child will learn in their first years). In fact, the first night my DD fell asleep by herself and didn't cry out for me in the middle of the night, I actually felt a sense of loss. Now of course I relish my new found freedom and continuous hours of sleep.
Other important lessons covered in this book include help with naptimes (ie. getting my DD to sleep using whatever method worked during the day really helped with night time sleep), keeping logs (proved to be really motivational and helped to keep the plan on track over time) and the Pantley gentle removal plan which helped to wean my DD from night time nursing. I know there will be ongoing challenges as my DD has further teething episodes or illness, but I'm now armed with the skills to help her through those times with all the love and sensitivity that Elizabeth's book has provided me with.
I would encourage any new parent or any parent experiencing sleepless nights to at least read this book as it is an invaluable addition to your parenting library.
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on 11 January 2013
I bought this book as my three 1/2 year old was throwing dreadful tantrums about going to bed and taking a very long time to settle and fall asleep. we have recently moved house and he got out of his usual routine. He had also begun to drop his daytime nap, his nursery did not put him down for naps. Reading this book helped me to understand sleep in young children and how sleep patterns change. I had thought my son was throwing tantrums becuase he wasnt tired and didnt want to go to bed but after reading this book I realised that the opposite was true, my son was over tired and has a tendancy to get very hyperactive when he feels like this. The solution for us was a longer bedtime routine that starts earlier, audio-books in the evneing istead of TV and encouraging him to nap or rest early afternoon. This book does not offer one solution for every child/family so I'd recommend reading the whole book rather than dipping in and out. It also made me feel better about the lack of success we have had with 'cry it out' approaches, which for us seemed to make things worse. Our son still needs us with him when he is falling asleep but now I am confident that this is normal for a child of his age and we are all happier knowing that he will fall asleep calmly and quickly.
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on 9 December 2012
My 3 year old grandson stays overnight once a week and will not stay in his own bed all night. I settle him down with a gentle story and a cuddle and let him know that I will be in the room until he sleeps. I have to stay otherwise he just screams. When he has fallen asleep I leave. He wakes anytime from midnight onwards (usually about 2.30 am) and cries until I come to him and then will not stay in his own bed. I have tried the techniques suggested and nothing works. He has the same bed he has at home, a nice quiet room with a small bookcase of books he likes and his cuddly bedtime toys from home. None of the techniques in the book worked. He is a very sensitive boy and I feel he just really wants to feel the closeness of me and will then snuggle down and sleep. He doesn't sleep quietly all night at home either but I am sure, given the reassurance we are giving him, he will grow out of it. This book has useful techniques to try but sometimes you have to listen to your gut instinct.
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on 9 September 2006
This book worked for me. It made me realise that the difficulty my daughter had falling to sleep was perfectly normal. Rather than trying to fix something that is not broken, I've decided to appreciate the time with her.

This book is like a good friend. It is reassuring when you start to wonder if you are doing the right thing and it reminds you that the most important thing is that children grow up fast.
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